Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do Good: The Great Schlep.

Jewish? Wish you were Jewish? Of course you do. We're the chosen people.

Visit The Great Schlep. Influence change.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

7-Eleven percolates the vote.

7-Eleven has long been my stop for diet coke, late night snacks (though, god-forbid, never the hot dogs) and even, on occasion, overpriced meds. And though the brand earned some buzz last year for the well-executed and well-publicized Simpson Movie's Kwik-E-Mart stunt at stores across the nation, that is as much as I thought about 7-Eleven, the convenience stop for teens, truckers and munchie-seeking stoners.

So, yesterday, when I drove off Freeway 73 to grab a much needed coffee on route to Orange County, I didn't expect to pour my latte into a politically charged coffee cup. But sure enough, 7-Eleven is getting in on the campaign action along with the rest of the country.

I got to choose my presidential nominee before choosing my brew.

There were sleeves available to show anyone who might glance over that I don't just drink coffee, I am also politicallly active--a socially responsible caffeine consumer.

I chose Obama. And the iced pumpkin latte.

Deliciously democratic. Thank heaven for 7-Eleven.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jessie for President.

The other night on CNN's Larry King, Chris Rock appeared to make jabs at Bill Clinton, compare Palin to Kim Kardashian and support Barack Obama. Oh, and seemingly make Larry and his entire audience uncomfortable.

Chris suggested voting for Barack because he has one house versus John McCain's multiple houses. That if the economy goes down and McCain loses 1/2 his houses, he'd still be ok while the guy with one house gets worried.

I'd like to suggest voting for me, the girl with one studio apartment. That she rents. In Koreatown. Complete with ants in the bathroom and roaches in the kitchen. Jessie for president. Write 'er in.

xo * The poorest candidate for president

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tasers. Pink stun guns. And another deadly move by the NYPD.

Koreatown is safe for a few kinds of people. Without getting into specifics, I can tell you that I am not one of them. From being followed home by strange men in the wee hours to fighting off attacks from water bugs in my bed, residing in K Town has kept me on my toes [keys locked in defense mode on the street, cell phone ready to dial 911].

Upon hearing conservative radio talk show host Dr. Laura advise one of her listeners to get a stun gun a few weeks ago, I toyed around with the idea. A stun gun would serve me well on the streets--powerful enough to have a grown man to the ground, mild enough not to land me in prison where I would surely get beaten by larger, stronger, butcher inmates seeking extra muffin rations in the cafeteria.

I researched a bit and found that stun guns aren't merely tools of defense, they can serve as accessories--an important consideration for the prudent, but stylish stun gun shopper.

They come in pink...

They come in fun animal form...

The Pink Stinger even comes shaped like a tampon (not, I repeat, NOT for insertion).

But as fun as a stun gun may sound, I reserved doubts. In today's NY Times, my doubts were confirmed. Earlier this week, a troubled young man was shot by an NYPD's taser gun, only to fall to his death. If girls around the country can successfully taser a man with her tampon without killing him, what kind of insanely inferior training is the police force receiving?!

Signing off [and still searching for means of defense],
Jessie B. R.

Recommended further reading on self-defense and fun with tasers:
Wired - Defense Gadgets

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ashlee, Pete Wentz and Jr.-to-be get artsy.

Tonight kept me in downtown for a post-work outing to the preview reception for artist Futura's first LA show. Ever. It should be noted that to many people, this is a big deal. Futura is a NY-based graffiti artist with pretty far-reaching acclaim. Had I ever heard of him before? We'll leave it at 'maybe.' But a whole lotta downtown art fans and East side hipsters were more than a little excited to crowd into the pop-up gallery at Main and 6th for a siting of the man himself, his fancy fans and a look at the $4,000 -$42,000 pieces on the walls. For those of you to whom $42,000 seems pricey, you've got to understand...it was the first time Futura had drawn a perfect circle. So OBviously, it's going to cost you a few extra thousand. We learned that earlier in the evening Shepard Fairey (Obey founder, artist, dj, and all around decent fellow) had been by to make a pre-preview purchase himself. And while most of the remaining guest list was full of your average joe art enthusiasts, Ashlee Simpson, boyfriend Pete Wentz and their baby bump did make an appearance as expected. We'd been given strict instructions that Ashlee was not to be photographed. And even after quite a few at the open Belvedere bar, we held onto our ethics (which are usually quite flexible) and covered our media lenses in respect for the mom to be.

After leaving the beautiful people and the beautiful art, I headed home. To be reminded--as I narrowly escaped abduction by a strange little man who followed me the 3 blocks from my car to my apartment--that my current life and assets are worth, well, less than a 10' x 10' abstract canvas.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Paparazzi. Making private moments public. Every day. Deal with it Mr. West.

When I was young, I wanted to be a famous actress. I wanted to star in big budget movies or, at the least, nationally televised commercials. I took acting classes and auditioned for school performances and enthused over the eyes that landed on me when I was on stage and the laudations that followed a performance. I didn't love performing for the art of it. I was not even much of an actress. But I craved the attention I received for my efforts.

The entire construction of a set fed my love of the spotlight. Microphones amplify a performer's voice so it can ring louder than the rest. Houselights are dimmed and a light shone on the stage so that the performer can stand out from the crowd. Stages are built high so that its talent can stand higher. Performing is the natural calling for the ego-driven, the narcissistic, the self-important.

So, somebody tell me why the f++k Kanye West threw that mother f++king paparazzi's camera to the ground this week. Why he had the audacity to get himself arrested at LA-mother-f++king-X because some dude with a long lens was doing his job, trying to fulfill Kanye West's God-complex. Kanye West, you hear me and you hear me good. I didn't make it as an actress. And I'm not mad. But you made it. You are filling arenas with fans--thousands of them--and preaching that you are the next John Lennon, the next Bono, the next thing we should care about. Well, Mr. Lennon 2.0. You got what you wanted. So act nice, get grateful, and smile next time I try to take a mother f++king picture.

[TMZ: Kanye Felony Assault Footage]

P.S. At a recent get-together, I happened to pick up this paparazzi of my own.

Apparently, according to the packaging, he recognizes my 'it girl' status. Finally. Someone does. I am currently growing him. Look for me in the weeklies soon.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Crying babies, bad dates and a Hilton family outing this VMA weekend in LA.

First, let me tell you that while I write this, the baby downstairs is wailing, the children on the street have somehow organized their screams into choral orchestration and the refrigerator's humming has reached new volumes. But this is what one gets when one tries to pay less than $900 on rent in Los Angeles, I gather.

So, this weekend saw a lot of of action here in LA. While the Sarah Palin jokes have continued to amuse across the nation, and Democrats become fearful as they realize the McCain/Palin ticket is scoring more favor than they'd expected (librarian porn fans are finding their way to polls countrywide), here we have remained focused on the races that really matter, namely that for Best Music Video.

Not having had cable in years, I myself haven't had the pleasure of seeing a music video since Paula Abdul got Straight Up and Aerosmith broke Alicia Silverstone in in the 90s. But apparently America still loves its televised music and MTV hosted its god knows whateth annual Video Music Awards at Paramount Studios last night. Yes, Britney Spears showed up. No, I have no idea who won.

After parties kept the winners, losers and fans busy all night. And at one West Hollywood hotspot, the after party got wild as the Hiltons made a family outing of it, Lindsay and Samantha quarreled in a corner and a 90210 newbie tried to drive off with my friend's Jetta. [The Bar Code]

The rest of the weekend was a blur, save a visit to WeHo on Friday to visit my dear friend Elana. E took me to a great restaurant hidden on a side street of the neighborhood, Gardens of Taxco. Though there are no menus here and the staff's English was shaky enough to instill fear in a cautious eater, our waiter spoke with enough gusto and rolling of his R's to get us through the ordering stage. The only thing more awkward than placing our orders was the date at the adjacent table, a lovely lady with none other than Jonah Hill, the Romanesque co-star of Superbad. A lot of nervous hand holding across the chips and salsa and Hill's request for the mariachi to play Feliz Navidad made for an interesting date to watch, probably less one to be on.

[Photo Credits: WireImage]

Friday, September 05, 2008

Edible computers. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before!?

I thought it was worth it to tell you--Microsoft is on the verge of an edible software. And Jerry Seinfeld has teemed up with the Windows guru, Bill Gates, to advertise the wave of the future.

I, personally, dream of the day that my PC tastes like Chinese orange-flavored soy chicken. Thank you Bill Gates. Thank you.

[Sources: Brandweek, Crunchgear]

[Photo Credit: Crunchgear]

Republicans. They're just like us.

I am the first to admit I don't know enough about American politics. I am in the dark on most issues of the current election. Though I aim to learn more, my occasional 10 minute tune-ins to am talk radio haven't yet turned me into the educated, politically savvy student of politics I hope to be in time for, oh say, the November 4th elections.

In the meantime, I am finding ways to relate to candidates on both sides in a fair and unbiased attempt to form my opinion. Though the McCain/Palin ticket has not impressed me to this point, it comforted me to see the pair so excited about chocolate. You see, in the picture below, the dynamic team as excited about the sweets shoppes behind them as they are about wrenching rights from women across the nation. And while I can't stand behind the McCain/Palin pro-life agenda, nor his too-close-to-death biology, nor her awful taste in suits...I can stand behind chocolate. Finally, a platform I can believe in. Chocolate for the Democrats! Chocolate for the Republicans! Heck even for the Independents! Chocolate for boys and girls everywhere!!

[Photo credit: NY Times]

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Pictures: 'Towelhead' Premiere. A balanced night of star sightings and geekouts.

Tonight, after a long day of working, I barely gathered enough energy to drive myself to the Arclight to meet some friends for one of Gen Art's monthly screenings. Had I known that Towelhead was a film about statutory rape, prejudice and coming of age, I might have skipped it altogther. Had I remembered that the screening was, in fact, a premiere, I might have worn makeup and cuter underwear. But I knew none of this. I came with no expectations of the film. And I came in old pink panties.

The film was, in the end, phenomenal. I'm no film critic. And I shouldn't give it away. But I'll tell you this--any film that brings back knit wool sweaters and imagines golf courses overrun by nude chicks--well, it's got to be good.

The highlight of the evening for my friend was having her picture taken with director Alan Ball, director of American Beauty, creator of Six Feet Under, and now of True Blood. While I was too bashful to partake in the major, maaaajor geek out session that ensued, I got in on the action by lending my camera. So, my camera....touched the hands of my friend....who then put her arms around Alan Ball. Whooooa....whoa!

Yes, nearly everyone got in on the Ball action but yours truly.

I'll confess now that I may not have known the name Alan Ball before tonight. But goshdarn--I liked his movie.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The desert: Ed Hardy, palms and a bride to be.

Nothing says nuptial bliss like the drunken stupid fun the bride and groom are allowed one last time before the big day. (Personally, I don't intend to stop having stupid, if not drunken, fun for anything. And my future-husband--God bless you whoever you are--should know this. But I am not most people and I digress.) And this past weekend I had the great pleasure of helping one of my best friends celebrate her last moments of single, un-attached freedom.

Early on Saturday morning, gal-pal A and I rode the long way East to Palm Springs. The trip should have taken 2 hours. I drove. It took 4.

In transit, we got lost, discovering the wonders of 'cities' on route to the desert. The towns may be small, hot and have a disturbingly high ratio of mullets to non-mullets, but even the DMV office appears tropical and alluring when it's surrounded by sand and palms. Heck, if I lived in the desert, I'd make a point of violating traffic more often to get the chance to return to this government building oasis.

No bachelorette party is complete without the offering of naughty gifts to the bride to be. Even the most demure of girls get gifted with lingerie, oils and sex toys to last a lifetime...or, until the sex stops. Here, the winning gift of the night came from K--a paddle from every bad girl's fave shoppe, Agent Provocateur (that is, every bad girl who can afford to drop several hundred for a corset and a bottle of lube).

Later in the evening, all of us girls had the pleasure of attending the most rip-roaring dance club in all of the desert. (For those who've been to Palm Springs during Coachella, note that the crowd during the off season sports a little less hipster flare and a little more Ed Hardy, but who's counting the bedazzled muscle tees? Oh right--the cougars with the fake tits in the corner were keeping tally all night.) The JW Marriot's Costas Nightclub boasts the title of 'Valley's Nightclub of the Year' and calls itself the 'playground to the stars.' Seeing as the rules at the entrance of the club call for no facial tattoos and no Dickies, it seems that nearly every LA star to speak of would be ruled out, but maybe that tranny with all the work done who was on line before us was somebody--I'm not really sure.

Well, we didn't get in to Costas--apparently the doorman didn't find it impressive that we were visiting from LA, had natural breasts and didn't have anything sparkly on. But the men (pictured left) that we met in the Lobby Bar were enough to remind us all that marriage is indeed preferable to the single life. And I couldn't be happier for my amazing bff D, who's about to embark on the journey toward commitment. (Thank goodness because I am planning on returning next week to Palm Springs to score that muscley fellow on the right for myself. Here I come Don Juan de Mentally Challenged!)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Esprit de corps

Happy Labor Day to all of you who are celebrating the national holiday today. Or to all of you, I should say, who even know why they've got a day off. In order to be self-righteous and make a comment like that, I needed to get my own Labor Day facts straight. So I looked the holiday up on Wikipedia--[the only source for information that is produced by your fellow layman, making it full of room for error, but truly democratic, and isn't that what counts]--and learned that the holiday was originally intended to celebrate "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" and was to be "followed by a festival for the workers and their families." Nowadays, of course, we generally celebrate with a pool party where those who really need the day off are treated to a day of serving us mojitos and emptying our ashtrays. But as long as we celebrate their strength and spirit as they move lounge chairs away from the barbeque smoke, I guess we've retained the dignity of the holiday. So, enjoy the remaining few hours of your day off, the last hoorahs of summer.